Monday, August 24, 2015

Concerns Over Avian Flu Leads to Revised Poultry Transportation Standards

Written by Katharine Richter

Acting under authority granted by the Domestic Animal Law (3 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 2301—2389) the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has issued an Interstate and General Quarantine Order focused on addressing the spread of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI).  The order was published in the PA Bulletin on Saturday, August 22 and specifically targets the H5N2 and H5N8 strains of the disease which, according to the order, “have developed into a virulent form of the disease . . . [and] are easily spread, and may mutate into strains that are communicable to or among humans.”

The quarantine order applies to the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and encompasses chicken, turkey and numerous species of game birds such as doves, pheasants, and grouse, as well as “all . . . waterfowl and any other species of bird . . . that may contract or harbor Avian Influenza virus.”

The quarantine order requires that any “conveyance[s], vehicle[s], container[s], and material[s]” used to transport any of the affected species into or within the Commonwealth must be cleaned and disinfected.  In the case of vehicles and conveyances the mandate requires the use of commercial truck washing equipment or its equivalent and extends to the inside of the cab, specifically including the “inside floor boards and pedals” must be cleaned.

The owner or operator must retain proof of cleaning for one month after the cleaning occurs.  The order specifies that “A receipt from a commercial truck washing operation or documentation of the place and type of equivalent equipment utilized showing the date and time” the cleaning occurred must be available for inspection by the Department of Agriculture or the Pennsylvania State Police.

The order became effective on its publication in the PA Bulletin.

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